CANMORE – An arm wrestling super-match answered some burning questions that Canmore’s Annie Beals had about where she stood in the sport of muscle and strategy.
Driving nearly 800 kilometres to Moose Jaw, Sask. to compete at Fit II Fight, Beals, who's a multi-weight national champion for both arms, pounded Vivian Santos’ right and left hands down to the table in the main event inside Bugsy’s Irish Pub on Feb. 10.
The quick, easy victories over Santos inside the crowded sports bar has given a clear-cut answer for Beals' questions.
“I’m really happy and it’s given me a good benchmark of where I stand in North America,” Beals said. “[Santos] is big on the arm wrestling scene, but I’ve taken big strides in 18 months.”
My supermatch from @fitiifightarmsports this weekend with @fitvivs204 . Came away with a clean 3-0 win. I felt strong and focused up there and happy to see my training is continuing to pay off! This is an exciting year for me leading up to some big events this summer. #armwrestling #womensarmwrestling #strongwomen #femalesinsport #girlswhopull #girlswhoarmwrestle
Eighteen months earlier, Beals just edged out Santos, a bronze medallist in Canada in her weight class, in their first and only meeting. Since then, Beals won four national titles using both arms in two weight classes (60 kilograms and 70 kg) at the 2019 Canadian Armwrestling Federation National Championships and closed out 2019 with a ninth-place finish at the World Armwrestling Championship in Romania.
Big strides, indeed, for the 32-year-old who's only been competing for just over three years.
The main event rematch was proposed to Beals to help promote women’s arm wrestling in Canada, however, she knew the super-match would give her a distinct marker in her short, but decorated arm wrestling career.
“It shows how much I’ve improved and I’m more confident going into a super-match in August. I’m in good standing to potentially win,” Beals said.
The Moose Jaw super-match was the second arm wrestling-orientated trip Beals has done this year. In January, she competed at the LA Fitness Expo arm wrestling competition, winning silver with both arms.
It's given Beals confidence for this summer when two major events are held: nationals in Winnipeg in July where Beals will defend her titles, and the Red Deer Summer Armwrestling Charity Classic in August where she’ll face Angie Rose of Kamloops, B.C.
Rose, a long-time veteran of the sport, is a signed arm wrestler for the World Armwrestling League.
Just like in the rematch against Santos, Beals' August super-match against Rose isn’t their first time pulling against each other. However, instead of Beals holding all the victories, Rose holds an advantage in wins when they last faced off in 2018.
“Everything is really gearing towards nationals in July and the big tournament in August – it’s a really big tournament for North American arm wrestling, in general,” Beals said. “Everything I’m doing is working towards that now.”
The arm wrestling scene is small and word travels fast within in the community. With Beals' dominant performance over Santos earlier this month, it might just give Beals' future opponents some burning questions of their own.